I've been sitting here at my computer for over an hour, creating tags for the paintings I will be selling at the art fairs this month, and I am stuck. I am stuck because I am struggling put a price on my work that feels good to me. What is too low, what is too high? I've looked in the books that are supposed to help and all they do is ask more questions...How long did they take to make, how many materials are used in them, what level of technique was used, what sentimental value do they hold for me, framed not framed, what are comparable prices on the market right now.....?.....the questions are endless...the questions are frustrating. I have never sold a painting to someone who didn't have a personal relationship with me. This is a problem for gauging my audience, for knowing my worth....i mean my art's worth. - but honestly sometimes it feels like the same thing. When I was in art school, we used to joke around about it being prostitution of soul, since we put our heart and souls into these artworks, they hold so much worth to us, but no one would want it for more than 50 bucks... The prostitution of it is ...putting a price on something dear and precious to you to give to someone that will never feel the same way about it. It's a graphic phrase but feels fitting in this moment. I want to keep them all. They each hold a memory of my life at that moment I made it, color choices, textures, and images were connected to emotions I had, the music I was playing, my life story at that time. I love seeing them all on my walls surrounding me like a diary... a story book of the last 8 months of my life. Moving back to Florida, losing dear friends, making new ones, finding our place in this town again, new jobs, loss of family dog, finding a new dog, Israel growing...starting to talk (FINALLY)...testing us and pushing on boundaries, and me rediscovering myself buried deep under life roles, expectations, and labels. There it all is on my walls, looking at me through soulfully painted eyes.
I cannot keep them, I know this. To keep them would leave no room for going forward, for growing, for learning and stretching my wings. So they must find new homes, but for what price? I remember a friend in art school always priced his work in the $1000s dollar level, not because his work necessarily warranted it at that time, but because that was the amount for which he was willing to part with them. I get it now, but I have to be more realistic than that. So here goes... I just hope that the people who decide to take them home feel as connected to them as I do.